After a the second Test loss and with it the series to South Africa today (January 17), there could be some good news for India captain Virat Kohli tomorrow as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) awards are to be announced.
The winners of ICC Awards 2017 will be revealed on Thursday. Kohli is in the running to bag three top honours - ODI Player of the Year, Test Player of the Year and Sir Garfield Sobers Award for the ICC Cricketer of the Year. Kohli had won the ICC ODI prize in 2012.
There are two more Indians who could pick up an award. Young left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav features in the list of nominees for Emerging Player of the Year while Rohit Sharma is among the T20I Performances of the Year.
In the ODI award section, Kohli will compete with England's Joe Root, Rashid Khan of Afghanistan and Pakistan's Hasan Ali.
The Indian skipper has a tough competition in Test honour as the list features current world number one batsman and Australian captain Steve Smith, top bowler Kagiso Rabada of South Africa, Nathan Lyon (Australia), James Anderson (England) and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.
For the Cricketer of the Year, ICC wrote, "Following gongs for Ravichandran Ashwin in 2016 and Steve Smith in 2015, a strong list of candidates are in contention for the most coveted award of them all in 2017, and the names listed above look set to dominate again – we are witnessing a golden age of batsmanship, with Smith, Kohli, Williamson and Root vying for the title of the world's No.1 batsman."
In 2016, India's Ravichandran Ashwin won both top awards - ICC Cricketer of the Year and Test player honour.
Here are the contenders for awards, as listed by ICC today (January 17)
Emerging Player of the Year
A number of outstanding candidates to take this award, following Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman in 2016, Josh Hazlewood in 2015 and Gary Ballance in 2014.
- Pakistan's teenage leggie Shadab Khan lit up the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy with a series of brilliant spells.
- His fellow countryman Hasan Ali was the bowler of the tournament, taking 13 wickets in all and firing Pakistan to the final with an inspired three-wicket performance against England in the semi-final.
- Kuldeep Yadav's emergence as a key part of India's spin-bowling stocks has been one of the stories of 2017. The slow left-arm wrist-spinner burst onto the scene in March and claimed 43 wickets across the three formats in a dream first year for the senior side.
- The find of England's Ashes tour, Dawid Malan was the highest England run-scorer in the series, including a maiden Test century at Perth. It capped a superb first year in international cricket for the 30-year-old, which began in style with a 44-ball 78 against South Africa on his T20I debut.
T20I Performance of the Year
After Carlos Brathwaite's iconic finish to the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, here are a selection of brilliant feats in the shortest form in 2017:
- Rashid Khan's 5/3 from just two overs against Ireland was a staggering statement from the teenage leg-spinner.
- Asela Gunaratne's astonishing 84* from 46 balls against Australia in just his sixth T20I appearance took Sri Lanka to victory from the final ball of the match.
- The magical leg-breaks of Yuzvendra Chahal bamboozled England at Bangalore, his 6/25 the best return from a bowler in T20I cricket in 2017.
- Scores of 190 are usually defended in T20I cricket, but not when Evin Lewis is at the crease as his 125* from just 62 balls saw the West Indies home against India.
- Rohit Sharma was irresistible in limited-overs cricket in 2017, and his 118 against Sri Lanka in December was his highest T20I score to date. The innings, containing 12 fours and 10 sixes, spanned just 43 balls.
ODI Player of the Year
- Virat Kohli was simply devastating in ODI cricket, averaging 76.8 across 26 matches.
- England's Joe Root was irresistible in the 50-over format, averaging 70.2 across 19 matches with two centuries.
- Afghanistan's Rashid Khan delivered the best ODI bowling performance of 2017, claiming seven West Indies wickets for just 18 runs.
- Hasan Ali – the bowler of the ICC Champions Trophy, and the bowler of the year, with 45 wickets from 18 matches – more than any other bowler on show.
Test Player of the Year
- Steve Smith enjoyed a stunning year, averaging 76.76 from 11 Tests with six centuries, including a highest score of 239 at Perth against England as part of Australia's emphatic 4-0 Ashes-regaining victory.
- Virat Kohli emulated Smith in Test cricket, making five centuries from 10 matches at an imposing average of 75.6 (including three double-centuries).
- Although he played just seven Tests in 2017, Kane Williamson still delivered three classy centuries at an average of 62.9.
- Australia's cult-hero off-spinner Nathan Lyon had a stellar 2017, topping the wicket-taking charts with 63 wickets at 23.5.
- South Africa's brilliant young fast bowler Kagiso Rabada continued his superb form in 2017, picking up 57 Test wickets from 11 matches.
- England's all-time most successful bowler, James Anderson bowled as beautifully as ever in 2017, claiming 55 wickets at a staggering average of 17.6 per wicket.
ICC Awards 2016 Winners
Cricketer of the Year (Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy) – Ravichandran Ashwin (India)
Test Cricketer of the Year – Ashwin
ODI Cricketer of the Year – Quinton de Kock (South Africa)
Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year – Suzie Bates (New Zealand)
Women's T20I Cricketer of the Year – Suzie Bates (New Zealand)
T20I Performance of the Year – Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies ) (34 not out, 10 balls, 1x4, 4x6, ICC WT20 India 2016 final v England, Kolkata)
Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)
Associate/Affiliate Cricketer of the Year – Mohammad Shahzad (Afghanistan)
Spirit of Cricket Award – Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan)
Umpire of the Year (David Shepherd Trophy) – Marais Erasmus